First Person

So Goodly a Land

In 2012, to celebrate being seventy, an old friend and I crossed North America. She wished to deliver her Ford Explorer from Pasadena, California to Reading, Vermont. Apart from that practical objective, we wanted to revisit our country to gain some sense of the whole. She had never left. But I had long ago moved to Australia—and my Yankee perceptions had been radically modified. “Thelma and Louise” they called us. But we were older, not running away from violent husbands, not about to shoot anyone—and certainly not motivated to drive off a cliff. We compared ourselves to John Steinbeck, who…

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